At our Social Justice Forum on Sept. 20, UUFBC members voted to develop a partnership with the local Dept. of Children & Families (DCF) to assist youth in foster care as they near adulthood. Jo Shaffer outlined our project as Bay Youth Interdisciplinary Leadership Development (BYILD). Twenty-two volunteers signed up as willing to participate in one or more events with the youth.

Since then, members of our committee have attended a series of meetings with adult staff to explore how best to fit our volunteers into their mission. All levels of staff members welcome our participation, especially as helpers with Service Learning Projects (SLP) designed to enable youth to learn by serving others. At a Meet & Greet dinner on Nov. 5, about 20 of our members met with a similar group of youth and adult staff. There was good participation in brainstorming ideas for events, especially for the upcoming holiday season. Now we need UUFBC volunteers to join us in the following events:

  • On Tues., Nov. 26 at 4:30 pm, we meet with the teens at Hidle House, 2121 Lisenby Ave., Panama City, to decorate Santa hats to wear at holiday events, make signs for the planned fundraiser, and finalize plans for a Christmas event at a nursing home. Please bring any Santa hats you’d like to donate, along with any items like small tree ornaments, garlands, etc., that could be used for decorating the hats.

  • On Tues., Dec. 3 at 4:30 pm, we meet with the teens at Childrens Advocacy Center, 210 E. 11th Street, Panama City, to bake, decorate and package goodies for a bake sale fundraiser to be held on Dec. 7. Funds raised will be used primarily in the Service Learning/BYILD program for projects like the Community Garden.

  • On Fri., Dec. 7 at 5 pm, we meet to set up fundraiser in front of the Community Based Care building at 914 Harrison Ave., Panama City, which is along the parade route. We will wear Santa hats and offer hot drinks, goodies, and a limited number of parking spaces to parade goers in exchange for donations. We will display a Service Learning Project banner and offer brochures about the program and about UUFBC.

  • At a time and place TBD, we will join the teens and a few staff members in a caroling event at a local nursing home, with goodies and perhaps small gifts for the residents.

We are still feeling our way toward cementing our partnership with DCF, and your presence and enthusiasm can help it grow into a very good thing for the youth and for us.

Please RSVP for each of these events to Bob Gilmore ( so we will know how many to plan for and to let you know of any changes to locations.

Ruby Jo Faust

Social Justice Committee